Qantas to BAN unvaccinated passengers on some flights

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the airline will ban unvaccinated passengers from a number of flights.

Mr Joyce spoke with business leaders at the Trans-Tasman Business Circle on Tuesday about vaccines for both staff and passengers.

He said staff were surveyed about a vaccine mandate and from November all will be vaccinated.

Passengers on international flights with Qantas will also have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Qantas will have a policy that internationally we’ll only be carrying vaccinated passengers,” Mr Joyce said.

“Because we think that’s going to be one of the requirements to show that you’re flying safe and getting into those countries.”

Passengers lining up to check in for Qantas flight QF143, an Airbus A330, the first one for the airline to New Zealand as it travels out of Sydney's International Airport en route from Australia to New Zealand.
Passengers lining up to check in for a Qantas to New Zealand from Sydney earlier this year. Source: Getty Images

He added it’s likely only vaccinated people will be able to visit certain countries anyway.

The Qantas boss hopes international flights will resume by Christmas. He said once Australia opens international borders again, markets like the UK, Japan, Singapore, Fiji and North America might be places Aussies can travel “if the states keep to the national plan”.

The national plan is to have 80 per cent of the country fully vaccinated.

Mr Joyce said some states may stray from it, meaning passengers might be able to fly from Sydney to London, but not from Sydney to Perth or Cairns.

“That’d be sad if we got to that,” he said.

A young woman receives the Pfizer vaccine at the Royal Exhibition Building Vaccination Centre in Carlton in Melbourne
A woman receives a Pfizer vaccine at the Royal Exhibition Building Vaccination Centre in Carlton in Melbourne. Source: Getty Images

US airline says staff must be vaccinated or face termination

United Airlines is taking a similar approach in the US: either get a jab or find another job.

The airline’s 67,000 US-based employees face a September 27 deadline for getting vaccinated. United said on Wednesday, however, that employees whose bids for exemptions based on medical reasons or religious beliefs are denied will get five more weeks to get vaccinated.

After that, the airline said, they will face termination or unpaid leave.

Kirk Limacher, United’s vice president of human resources, made the statement about vaccinations on Wednesday in memos to employees that spell out how United will handle requests for exemptions.

A Qantas airline plane takes off at Ngurah Rai International Airport near Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
Qantas employees will also have to be vaccinated. Source: Getty Images

United declined to say exactly how many employees have recently been vaccinated, what percentage of the workforce is now vaccinated, or how many workers requested an exemption.

The airline said it will have enough workers to operate its schedule this autumn and into the holidays.

The airline said that in most cases, employees who refuse to get vaccinated won’t be allowed into the workplace starting October 2.

United says requests for medical exemptions will be judged by medical staffers including nurses, while requests for waivers based on religious beliefs will be handled by personnel-office employees.

with The Associated Press

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